BoI’s N6.9b loan to SMEs boosts investment in Cross River
Efforts by the Cross River state government to create new jobs in the private sector received a boost on Tuesday as the Bank of Industry (BoI) commissioned its new office in the state in order to bring its products and services closer to investors.
According to the bank, N6.9 billion has been approved as loans to various enterprises in the state till date.
BoI’s Managing Director, Rasheed Olaoluwa, said the bank has funded thousands of real sector projects through its development financing vehicles and has opened an office in Cross River through the support of the state government, to make a positive difference in the economy of the state.
According to Olaoluwa, the bank also has a N500 million matching fund initiative for the industrial development of the state and the economic empowerment of the people at 8per cent per annum interest.
“The strategic and visionary initiatives of the state government will now provide access to SMEs to take advantage of BoI’s finance and business advisory packages, as well as ease the burden of entrepreneurs having to travel to our Delta State office,” he said.
Noting that great market opportunities exist in the state, Olaoluwa disclosed that the bank will focus on granting facilities to those engaged in adding value to sectors where the state had comparative advantages such as, fish farming, processing of crops such as rice, yam, and cassava among others.
He said the bank will also aid investors engaged in sectors such asleisure theme parks, e-commerce, water packaging, Information Technology andquarry/mining businesses.
Commissioning the new BoI office complex sited on Marian Road, Calabar, the Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, congratulated the Bank for achieving what he described as a monumental expansion.
He disclosed that his administration was determined to create a more enabling environment for investments to thrive.
“The present administration is desirous of moving the economy of Cross River state from third to first world economy. To achieve this, private sector participation in driving the economy remains critical. This informs the resolve of my administration to encourage industrialists, financial institutions and other investors with private sector friendly initiatives toplay active roles in galvanizing the state’s economy”, the governor said.
Governor Ayade noted that the commissioning of the BoI office, was a clear indication of an enduring partnership that will create a huge impact on the industrialization drive and ultimately job creation, economic development and sustained socioeconomic growth.
“Let me take this opportunity to also assure the bank of the unreserved support of the state government to enable it operate effectively and add value to our quest for economic transformation. As a statenoted for peace and serenity, I wish to further assure you of the secured congenial environment for business in Cross River state”, he said.
Earlier, the Bank’s management had paid a visit to the government house where they werealso received by the deputy governor.
Receiving them, Prof Ivara Esu, noted that the bank’s presence will be a great impetus to budding entrepreneurs in the state and he urged investors to take full advantageof itto dream big.
He noted that the state had long remained mainly as a civil service state, a situation which the new administration was ready to change, adding that, “we need to jolt them out of that zone into the realm of entrepreneurship because government alone cannot create all the jobs, so we wantpeople to invest in sectors like agriculture and agroprocessing to make the economy bounce”.
BoI, Nigeria’s foremost industrial development institution, over the last one year has doubled its presence across the country from seven offices to 15, in a bid to make its services more and easily accessible to investors engaged in value adding activities.
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